The Honeysliders rocking the Rolling Stones

On 28 August, Soundlounge is offering a special opportunity for music lovers. Tim Rogers will perform with Danny Widdicombe’s band, The Honeysliders and Ben Salter.  This isn’t going to be just any gig; they’re going to be playing Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers album in its entirety. It’s bound to be an epic night and to get you pumped for it, Danny Widdicombe tells Erin Bourne how it all came about.

The Honeysliders have previously performed Neil Young’s album On The Beach, where did that idea come from?

In 2013, we were asked to perform Jimi Hendrix’s album Axis: Bold as Love. We did that as a trio and it’s no easy feat to pull that off respectfully, so were proud of ourselves to say the least and it was more fun than we could have imagined. That’s when we decided that for the next few years at least, we should pick some of our favourite albums and dig deep into them, learning all the subtleties and nuances, the story of the recording process and deliver a live version of those albums that we treasure. 2014 was Neil’s On the Beach, last year we played a sold out show when we did The Band’s classic live album The Last Waltz with 30 special guests including Bernard Fanning, Troy Cassar-Daley, Jeff Lang and many, many more. It was to celebrate the 20th anniversary of me battling and living with leukaemia and it was a night to remember.

You’re an accomplished songwriter, why cover another band’s album?

The only way to learn about music is to study what’s happened in the past. When you delve into other people’s songs you start to have a vague understanding of what makes these great songwriters tick. All four classic albums that we’ve studied over the last few years are by artists who spent a great deal of time themselves learning from their influences. There’d be no Rolling Stones without Muddy Waters or John Lee Hooker. The same goes for us (on a much smaller scale of course! Ha). It’s not so much that we want to be a Rolling Stones tribute band, it’s more about bringing our favourite albums back to life on stage.

Why Sticky Fingers, beyond it being the 45th anniversary of the album?

Sticky Fingers has been hugely influential in all of our formative years and it still gives us inspiration. I learnt to play guitar by listening and playing along with guitarist Mick Taylor and this is the first full album with him as a fully fledged member of The Stones. The songs are so bloody good! Brown Sugar, Wild Horses, Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’, Moonlight Mile… Last night at rehearsal I looked around the room mid song and everyone had a grin from ear to ear. It’s challenging because we want to get it right and we have high expectations, but at the same time it’s incredibly rewarding.

Was it hard to convince Tim Rogers and Ben Salter to come along for the ride?

No. I’ve toured with Tim, playing lead guitar in his band The Temperance Union and he knows that I respect him greatly. I asked him if he’d like to fly up and sing these songs and he said yes straight away. He is a gorgeous man.

Ben Salter is like a brother to me. We’re in a band together called The Wilson Pickers. He’s not only a talented songwriter, he’s one of the best vocalists in the country, no matter which country he happens to be in. He’s been a big supporter of one over the years and I’m rapt that he’s flying up for this too.

What would you like people to get from the show?

My main goal from any show is to create some sort of connection with the audience. If people feel like they’ve been included in an experience and we’ve shared music together for a few hours and we’ve all forgotten our troubles then we’ve done our job.

Any more ideas for other albums to perform?

I’m about to release a new album with my band The Wilson Pickers so once we’ve performed Sticky Fingers I’ll be concentrating on that.

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You can catch The Honey Sliders at sonny’s House of Blues in Brisbane. They’re one of the house bands. And The Wilson Pickers new album You Can’t Catch Fish from a Train is due soon. They’ll be at Soundlounge on 13 October.

The Sticky Fingers show is Sunday 28 August at 4.00pm. More at soundlounge.com.au.

 

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